While some motorists regard driving as a basic right, the fact is that operating a motor vehicle is a privilege that must be earned and maintained by demonstrating safe and lawful driving. Under certain circumstances, an individual's Georgia driver's license may be suspended or revoked for a specific length of time, depending on the person's driving record or history, and the particular violation(s).
REASONS FOR DRIVER'S LICENSE SUSPENSIONS
There are a variety of reasons why your Georgia driver's license might be suspended. Some of these are related to specific driving violations, while others may be due to violation of other State laws. Following are some of the most common reasons for a Georgia driver's license to be suspended or revoked.
- Excessive Moving Violations. The state of Georgia operates on a point system, in which drivers accumulate points on their license for every moving violation they commit. If you accumulate 15 or more points within a 2 year period on your current driver record, your license will be suspended.
- Driving Under the Influence. Your Georgia driver's license will be suspended if you are found guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The length of the suspension depends on the severity of the violation and whether it is a first or repeat offense. If you refuse to take a blood/alcohol test, your license can be suspended for up to a year.
- Driving with a Suspended License or no License. Driving with a suspended license will lead to an increase in the length of the suspension, and you may also be imprisoned for up to five years. The duration of the additional suspension varies depending on the reason for the underlying suspension. Your driver's license may also be suspended if you do not have your license with you while you are driving. Driving with a suspended, revoked or cancelled license will increase the suspension period by six months.
- Driving without Insurance. All motor vehicles driven in Georgia must be properly insured. Failure to provide proof of valid auto insurance can result in your license being suspended for either 60 or 90 days.
- Other Driving-Related Violations. Your Georgia driver's license may also be suspended if you engage in reckless driving, are found to be at fault in a fatal accident, or if you abandon your vehicle on a public highway.
- Physical or Psychological Disqualification. The Department of Driver Services' Chief Administrator can order a re-examination of any person who may not be fit to drive. An individual's driving privileges may be suspended if the re-examination finds they are physically or psychologically unable to drive safely.
- Non-Driving Reasons for License Suspension. A variety of non-driving violations or issues can result in your license being suspended. These include: not responding to a Department of Driver Services notice or not appearing in court; failing to pay traffic tickets, fines or surcharges; and not paying child support.
- Other reason include - a homicide involving a vehicle, a crime involving a vehicle, fleeing the scene of an accident and being convicted of possession, distribution or sale or transfer of drugs.
For Drivers under 21, suspensions will follow if you are:
- Fleeing the scene of an accident.
- Using a motor vehicle to get away from an officer.
- Reckless driving.
- Purchasing liquor.
- Aggressive driving.
- Found to be falsifying your age to purchase liquor or obtain it illegally.
- If you are under 18 and have accumulated four or more points in a year's time.
Your license can be revoked if:
- You have a mental, physical or any medical disability that prevents you from driving correctly, or if you are addicted to alcohol or drugs.
- If you refuse to undergo another driving test or exam after being given grounds for the same.
- If you are declared a habitual violator. This will result in your license be revoked for five years.
If you believe your license has been suspended due to one of the reasons listed above it is advisable to speak with a Traffic Ticket Attorney
or DUI Attorney
WHAT TO DO IF YOUR GEORGIA DRIVER'S LICENSE IS SUSPENDED
Having your Georgia driver's license suspended is a serious matter and it is essential to adhere to State law in the event that your license is suspended. The three most important things to be aware of following a license suspension are:
- If your license has not already been taken away from you in court, you must surrender it to the Georgia Department of Driver Services. You can surrender your license in person at a Driver License office, or mail it to:
Department of Driver Services
P.O. Box 80447
Conyers, Georgia 30013
- While your license is suspended you are not permitted to drive. If you are found driving with a suspended license, you may be imprisoned for up to five years, and/or the length of your suspension may be increased.
- After your suspension is over, you will receive a written notice of restoration, with instructions on how to restore your license. Do not drive until you have completed the necessary steps and received a valid, replacement license from the Georgia DDS.
- You may also apply for a Limited Driving Permit. This permit allows you to drive to work, to a hospital, attending classes or a driving program or driving to an ignition interlock centre. More information on this can be found here.
APPEALING A SUSPENSION
If you receive a Notice of Scheduled Suspension from the DDS, and you wish to challenge the suspension, you may request a hearing in court. An administrative law judge or the DDS Chief Administrator will hear your case, and determine whether your driver's license should be suspended or not. In addition, drivers whose license may be suspended due to accumulating excessive points
may be eligible to enroll in a Driver Improvement Program
. Completing a Driver Improvement Program removes three points from the current driving record, and in some cases can enable an individual to avoid having his license suspended.
RESTORING YOUR LICENSE
You will receive a Notice of Restoration from the DDS after you have completed your suspension period. The notice will include complete instructions regarding how to get your license back. Generally, you will need to:
- For information on reinstatement contact the DDS either by calling (404) 657-9300 or via the DDS online services. You can also mail the DDS at the address given below for this.
Department of Driver Services
P.O. Box 80447
Conyers, Georgia 30013
Alternatively, you can contact the DDS Customer Service Centers that offer full reinstatement.
- Apply for a standard license renewal to obtain a new license.
Note that after your license is restored, you will be subject to a Mandatory Probation Period of one year, during which any new violations may result in an additional suspension of your Georgia driver's license.